The METRO Red Line is the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in the Twin Cities region. BRT is an enhanced bus service that provides faster travel and higher reliability through frequent service, shoulder lane operation, off-board fare collection, traffic signal priority and improved passenger information.
In addition to BRT, existing express services will also use the shoulder lanes for faster operation. Both services are enabled by the Cedar Avenue Transitway project, a reconstruction of Cedar Avenue from Dodd Road to 138th St. to facilitate faster and more convenient transit operation.
Cedar Avenue (CSAH 23/TH 77) is one of two crossings over the Minnesota River from western Dakota County to Hennepin County and will experience dramatic increases in congestion over current levels in the next 20 years. Traffic volumes along Cedar Avenue at the Cedar Avenue Bridge are expected to increase by 63 percent over current volumes by 2030.
Within Apple Valley and Lakeville, volumes are expected to increase by as much as 43 percent over the same period. With no capacity improvements, peak period travel speed in in Apple Valley and Lakeville is expected to decrease from 30 to 13 miles per hour. Improved capacity for transit service is one strategy to relieve this congestion within the existing roadway and without impacting the developed areas along Cedar Avenue.